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Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has rubbished claims the $8 billion cross-river rail project is a pipedream, hitting back at opposition predictions the unfunded plan to transform Brisbane's transport network would never happen.
In an end-of-year interview with brisbanetimes.com.au, Ms Bligh described the flagship underground rail project as crucial while admitting she faced an uphill election battle next year.
Ms Bligh said she would ultimately accept the people's judgment but vowed to fight to hold onto the role she still loved, placing jobs, education and environmental protection at the centre of her re-election pitch.
During the wide-ranging interview, coming a few days before she goes on Christmas leave, Ms Bligh:
Insisted she was on track to achieve her 100,000 new jobs pledge despite the inclusion of part-time positions in her tally;
Argued Queensland's debt levels were “very sustainable” contrary to opposition criticism;
Defended a ban on same-sex couples adopting by saying Queenslanders had still had “very conservative views”; and
Vowed to serve a full term as South Brisbane MP if Labor lost government, and nominated the introduction of the prep year as her proudest legacy.
Ms Bligh named the $8 billion cross-river rail project as one of her top infrastructure priorities for southeast Queensland in coming years.
The project, which is yet to secure any federal funding and was delayed by two years following the floods, would involve an 18 kilometre north-south railway line, of which 10 kilometres would be in underground tunnels from Yeerongpilly on the southside to Victoria Park on the northside.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/rail-fix-must-happen-says-uphill-battle-bligh-20111213-1oswi.html
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